The high altar is the focal point of the Cathedral's spiritual life. Here the Eucharist is celebrated on Sundays and other major feast days.
Behind it is a beautiful altarpiece depicting the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus, surrounded by Roman and Anglo-Saxon saints and royalty. It was designed by Sir Ninian Comper in 1922 as a memorial to those who died in the First World War.
Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
His the sceptre, his the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph,
his the victory alone.
Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion
thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus out of every nation
hath redeemed us by his blood.
Alleluia! not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us,
faith believes, nor questions how;
Though the cloud from sight received him
when the forty days were o'er
shall our hearts forget his promise,
'I am with you evermore'?
Alleluia! bread of heaven,
here on earth our food and stay!
Alleluia! here the sinful
flee to thee from day to day.
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
earth's Redeemer, plead for me.
Where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.
Alleluia! King eternal,
thee the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary,
earth thy footstool,
heaven thy throne.
Thou within the veil hast entered,
robed in flesh, our great High Priest.
Thou on earth both Priest and Victim
in the Eucharistic Feast.